In 2017, The FA in partnership with SSE launched the SSE Wildcats Football Centre programme which was created to offer girls aged 5-11 a chance to try football for the first time and provide regular opportunities to play the game we all love.
The FA has committed to doubling female participation by 2020 and key statistics found by the FA to help achieve this include “The majority of girls prefer playing in female only teams”, “The earlier a girl starts playing football the more likely she is to have a long-term relationship with the sport.” And prior to SSE Wildcats launching, “Only 3% of all mini-soccer teams cater exclusively for girls and as such only 41% of girls (compared to 95% of boys) under the age of 10 regularly play football.”. Looking at these facts, this led to the 2017 Launch of SSE Wildcats!
2 Years into the SSE Wildcats programme, there are now over 1,250 SSE Wildcats centres across the country which are hosted on a weekly basis either after school or at the weekend and are focused on helping girls make friends, have fun and be active through football. The programme is hosted by local clubs and organisations who are the experienced deliverers of football within their community.
Across Manchester, there are 38 SSE Wildcat Centres providing fun and engaging football every week.
County Football Associations hold a key role in increasing the number of Wildcats sessions in their areas and having 35 across Manchester is phenomenal as it gives girls access to an SSE Wildcats Centre wherever they may live in Manchester.
Katherine Jones, Our Women & Girls Football Development Officer said ‘The Wildcats programme is our flagship programme for engaging primary school aged girls, and it has played a huge role in increasing participation through fun activities, with a real focus on enjoyment and the social benefits of football. The programme places great emphasis on FUNdamentals of activity, and the safe and positive environment ensures that girls can learn the basics of the game without having to step into an existing team environment, which could be daunting. We have centres across Greater Manchester running throughout summer, so there are great opportunities for girls to get involved ahead of the new season!’
Find an SSE Wildcats Centre near you - thefa.com/ssewildcats